R&D labThe 2018 Sweetener Systems Conference program is designed for technologists involved in product formulations. The event provides updates on consumer attitudes, sugar reduction formulations, emerging technologies, nutritional aspects, sensory and regulatory issues. Practical information is provided by objective, non-commercial speakers.

An interactive Innovative New Sweetened Products and Trends  Sampling Station will be available. Click on link to see 20+ products.

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CFS logoPresentations may apply toward IFT's CFS re-certification.


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Conference Program

 Monday, October 22
5:00pm-7:30pm Registration & Badge Pickup

Monday "Might as Well Mingle" Networking Reception

Arriving the day before the event? Don't sit in your room working into the evening, come down to our Might as Well Mingle Reception to do just that...mingle! Join fellow attendees, speakers and the Global Food Forums staff for a bite to eat and to participate in the first networking opportunity of the conference. We'll make sure you're glad you came!

  Tuesday, October 23
6:15am-8:00am Registration & Badge Pickup
7:15am-8:00am Continental Breakfast
8:00am-8:15am Welcome


Julie Johnson-print-web 

Julie Johnson Biography

Understanding Shopper Attitudes Towards Sweeteners in the US and Beyond
Speaker: Julie Johnson, General Manager, HealthFocus International
Concern about sugar and other sweeteners continues to be an issue for shoppers. Sugar reduction remains top of mind with most of the world agreeing that decreasing sugar makes foods and beverages healthier. The answer is not that simple though. Consumers still have expectations for sweetness in certain categories, and the rise in eating cleaner and more natural makes artificial sweeteners an uncertain choice. What’s left is a confusing market for both sugar and artificial sweeteners. This presentation will discuss where people stand on sweeteners overall in relation to other dietary factors, the balance between sugar reduction, artificial sweeteners, and clean eating, and how positively or negatively individual sweeteners are rated.



Lauren Swann Biography

An FDA Update: Sugary Ingredients' Impact on Added Sugar Labeling

Speaker: Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN, CEO and President, Concept Nutrition, Inc.
Both the Nutrition Facts panel and labeled ingredient lists can influence or even drive product development. This creates a challenge in that this disclosure must meet regulatory compliance, support brand positioning and ultimately provide unique competitive marketing appeal for the product. FDA regulations—intended to support public health goals—initially required that some longstanding marketplace ingredients count towards the newly mandated “added sugars” amounts in the 2016 Nutrition Facts label update. The federal government publishes guidance to assist industry in applying regulations and along with the subsequently generated stakeholder feedback, new rules and expectations continue to evolve. This presentation will address added-sugars, their recent FDA updates and ingredient and product labeling implications.


Morning Networking Break Featuring:

• Tabletop Exhibits

New Innovative Consumer Products Tasting Station

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John S. White-400pixels

John S. White Biography

Reducing Added Sugars: Will it Reverse the Trend towards Overweight & Obesity?

Speaker: John S. White, Ph.D., President and Founder,
WHITE Technical Research
Added sugars have been enjoyed for millennia.  They add enjoyment to meals, while providing energy and improving the palatability and functionality of foods.  Added sugars have recently come under intense pressure, being promoted by health critics and agencies as singularly responsible for the current crisis of obesity and related diseases.  From this pressure have emerged ingredient-specific public health policies and product-specific taxes, aimed at curbing consumption of added sugars.  But is it reasonable to expect a reduction in added sugars to reverse the upward trend in overweight/obesity?  This presentation will review the strength of scientific evidence against added sugars and the likelihood that regulatory policy and taxation efforts will be successful.

11:15am-12:00pmGrant E. Dubois

Grant E. DuBois Biography

Replication of Sugar Taste Enabled by Taste Modulators & Enhancers

Speaker: Grant E DuBois, Ph.D., Consultant, Sweetness Technologies, LLC
Pressure on food and beverage companies to reduce sugar-derived calories continues to intensify due to the obesity and diabetes epidemics and, more recently, taxation and labeling requirements. Synthetic and natural non-caloric sweetener substitution for sugars is increasingly employed to enable the desired caloric reduction. However, such sweeteners consistently fall short of sugar taste quality. There are four reasons for this: off-tastes, such as bitter, metallic, licorice-like, etc.; temporal issues, i.e., delayed sweetness onset or sweetness linger; adaptation/ desensitization effects; and body or mouthfeel shortcomings. Approaches for the mitigation of these effects will be discussed. Use of enhancers of sugar sweetness is a second approach to reduce calories. The current state of use of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) as well as other enhancers will be discussed.

Networking Lunch, Tabletop Exhibits & 
Innovative Consumer Products Tasting Station

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1:00pm-1:45pmAlex Woo headshot

Alex Woo Biography

3rd Generation Stevia Extracts: Neuroscience, Ingredient Technologies & Food Applications

Speaker: Alex Woo, Ph.D., CEO and Founder, W2O Food Innovation
Second generation stevia extracts were all about high purity Rebaudioside-A (RA), the higher the purity the better the taste.  Farm-based 3rd generation stevia extracts are the newer two and and three-way blends of Rebaudiosides (types A, B, C, D, and M) for even more sugar-like taste but at higher cost.  Alternatively, fermentation or enzymology-based stevia already co-exist in 2018.  Enzymatically modified stevia extracts are sweet taste enhancers that can be used as part of the “Stacking” strategy, together with monk fruit and erythritol, for clean label sugar reduction.  This presentation provides insights into practical and economical approaches to decrease sugar through the use of emerging ingredients and optional ingredient blends.




David Plank Biography

Analytical Methods for Walking on the Lawful Side of Sugars, Dietary Fiber and Bioactive Sweeteners

Speaker: David Plank, Managing Principal, WRSS Food & Nutrition Insights; and Senior Research Fellow, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota
Most manufacturers must comply with FDA requirements for updated nutrition label information by January 1, 2020. FDA’s interpretation of “added sugar” and “dietary fiber” definitions have been evolving. The definitions have led to interest in use of consumer-friendly dietary fibers to sweeten products without increasing net carbs or added sugars on a label. However, this type of formulation may set up a company for legal actions. This presentation will discuss the valid analytical methods that you can use for selection of sweetener ingredients that conform with the new FDA regulations.  A new class of sugar sweeteners with the health benefits of dietary fiber will also be discussed.



Afternoon Networking Break Featuring:

• Tabletop Exhibits

New Innovative Consumer Products Tasting Station

Sampled Product 1 Sampled Product 2  Sampled Product 3  Sampled Product 4  Sampled Product 5  Sampled Product 6    



Melanie Goulson Biography

Jonathan Hopkinson-small-headshot

Jon Hopkinson Biography

Judy Linsey

Judy Lindsey Biography

Applications Panel: Technical Tips for Sugar Reduction


• 5 Tips for Reducing Sugar in Bars & Baked Goods

  - Melanie Goulson, MSc, General Manager, Merlin Development

• Reducing Sugar in Frozen Dairy & Novelty Desserts

   - Jonathan Hopkinson, Ph.D., Technology Consultant, Frozen Desserts

Practical Sensory Tools to Use in Evaluating Sugar Reduction Efforts
  - Judy Lindsey, General Manager of Brisan Group (previously Product Dynamics, a division of RQA, Inc.)

Q&A for Panelists

An interactive session where attendees have the opportunity to hear the thoughts and gather advice from the panel members. 


Three Drawing for a $75 Gift Certificate



Tabletop Exhibits & Sweetener Sampling Station

Tuesday "Closing Down the House" Networking Reception

Global Food Forums, Inc. provides a family of in-person, annual technical seminars specifically designed for product developers in the food, beverage and nutritional supplement market. Check out our inventory of 150+ presentations by starting at

  • Clean Label Conference
  • Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar
  • Sweetener Systems Conference
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A Global Food Forums® Event



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2018 Sweetener Systems Conference Agenda